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May 16 – God commands the water to become blood

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Daily devotional

Thus says the LORD, “By this you shall know that I am the LORD: behold, with the staff that is in my hand I will strike the water that is in the Nile, and it shall turn into blood.” – Exodus 7:17

Scripture reading: Exodus 7:14-25; Revelation 16:1-16

From the perspective of the pagan Egyptians, it made good sense to worship such a mighty natural force as the river Nile. The name given to the Nile River god was ‘Hapi’ and she was depicted as a mother who had given birth to Egypt. The fertility of Egypt depended on this great river which allowed life in the middle of the sands.

After Moses and Aaron present the serpent-sign in Pharaoh’s presence they are told by God to meet Pharaoh in the morning as he goes out to the river. It is likely that Pharaoh was there for a religious ritual. What were they to do? “Go out to the place where Pharaoh interacts with one of his gods,” the Lord is saying, “and put that god to death by striking it with your staff.” It’s a powerful one-two punch combo! Your royal serpent figure? Swallowed. Your powerful and life-sustaining river god? Defiled and dead. Say what you will, but God has an amazing way of getting his point across, doesn’t He?

No other god can save a people from the hand of the LORD. Judgment awaits every foe of God. What a precious gift it is to believe in the Son whose shed blood now cleanses and renews us.  And never forget Jesus’ testimony, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.”

Suggestion for prayer

Pray for the blessing of the LORD for the ministry of His Gospel in all places around the world. Pray that many more would believe in Jesus and pass from death to life in Him!

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Norman Van Eeden Petersman is the pastor of the Vancouver Associated Presbyterian Church in BC.

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